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Saying "port port" is clumsy. Should I refer to it as the port berthing mechanism? Is there specific terminology for what I'm referring to or are there a few options? Also, I'm specifically referencing modules berthed to each other in this case, not supply ships docking to modules. Is there a difference? (FYI, port:left :: starboard:right)

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  • $\begingroup$ The terms port, starboard, fore and aft make sense on a ship on the ocean where it is essentially traveling on a two dimensional plane. On a spacecraft where approach is in three dimensions, those terms become "less relevant" $\endgroup$ – FKEinternet Nov 4 '17 at 9:50
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    $\begingroup$ On the ISS port and starboard are absolutely what is used. The other 4 directions being forward, aft, zenith, and nadir. See my answer for an example of these terms being used IRL. In the line above the one highlighted in the flight plan they write "port aft". $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Nov 4 '17 at 11:41
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They would most likely use a TLA (Three Letter Acronym) instead of the noun "port". In the example you give, they would say the "port CBM" (Common Berthing Mechanism).

Here's an example from the STS-130 Flight Plan

enter image description here

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